If you are trying to keep a well stocked bar or cabinet, whisky glasses are simply an essential glass that can be used for a ton of different types of drinks or cocktails.
Nothing elevates a scotch or bourbon quite like a beautiful, well-crafted whisky tumbler.
Half the fun of enjoying a glass of whisky or is in the aesthetics, and nothing sets the mood like swirling around an amber liquid in a well made glass. But there’s also great reasons to enjoy a scotch or whiskey from a defined glass. Whisky glasses are designed to help enhance the flavor and experience of the drink.
“Nosing” is an important quality of certain styles of glasses. Depending on the shape, these glasses can help aid and release the aroma of the beverage itself. Certain styles have bulbous shapes and narrow rims, which allow the aroma to collect and funnel outwards. Nosing helps to distinguish and learn about the different flavors and types of whisky.
Whisky tumblers can be made in a variety of materials and designs, but our favorites are produced from crystal or glass and lend a sophisticated look and feel. They are generally designed to hold about 7 to 12 fluid ounces, either neat or on the rocks.
There is such a wide variety of designs to choose from, each with their own specific purpose, that it can be confusing to decide which set to go for. While some glasses are wide and short for easy drinking, others are narrow and long for aromatic purposes and flavor sipping.
But fear not – it is hard to go wrong. We’ll outline the top glasses and materials, and highlight some of our favorites to help narrow down the clutter.
Glass tumblers are often well made and durable, always up for a spin in the dishwasher without you having to worry about breakage or machine degradation. Crystal glasses can be more prone to chips and breaks. As such, we recommend washing by hand. Just remember – crystal tends to be quite expensive.
We recommend possessing at least 2 proper whiskey tumblers in your collection. No one likes to enjoy a drink alone!
The Whisky Tumbler
Probably the most well known of the whisky glasses, tumblers are short with a wide rim. Also known as “The Old Fashioned”, this standard bearer is perfect for enjoying a drink on the rocks or making a mixed cocktail, these glasses are the most versatile of the bunch. While not the ideal choice for whiskey purists who like to nose their whisky, these glasses are solid and dependable glassware.
Glencairn Whisky Glass
The glass that changed it all, or at least that’s what true whisky aficionados think. The glencairn glass was designed in 2001 to provide a superior drinking experience. The tapered mouth of the glass allows for a superior nosing experience, providing unparalleled access to flavor and notes that simply isn’t available with other glasses. These glasses typically hold 1.5-2 fluid ounces of liquid, and are meant to foster a savory enjoyment of your drink of choice
For the true whisky lover, this is the definitive glass.
The perfect glass for a mixed drink, and the infamous scotch and soda in particular, the highball provides plenty of room for ice and mixers. Versatile enough to use for other alcoholic beverages as well, every well-stocked wet bar needs a trusty set of highballs.
The Tulip Shaped Glass
Most well known for sipping sherry, these Spanish style glasses have become big in the world of whisky. With a perfect shape for the aroma of the alcohol to collect and waft, these glasses are ideal for nosing and enjoying the flavor profile of whisky. The stem helps keep the hand and any scents associated with it from compromising the smell of the whisky, providing a superior drinking experience. These whisky glasses are perfectly suited for true aficionados.
Brands to Know
Walk into any liquor store and chances are you’ll find a pretty wide selection of whisky glasses. But we love the appearance of a well crafted glass, so it pays to be picky and settle for a set that really catches your eye. Here are some of the brands that we love when it comes to stocking a bar.
While most well known for their diamonds and jewelry, Tiffany & Co has a jaw-dropping line of homeware. From old-fashioned glasses to highballs to stunning decanters, their crystal products are true statement pieces to feature in any bar. While expensive, their glasses can be enjoyed for years to come. You can’t put a price on quality, and Tiffany & Co is certainly top of the line.
Waterford has been making high quality glassware for centuries, and still remains the standard when it comes to barware. Their crystal glasses are visually stunning and highly functional, and make an excellent addition to any bar. Don’t be put off by the high price; their products can last a lifetime when properly cared for.
Often imitated, never quite duplicated, Glencairn makes THE whisky glass for true lovers of the drink. Their glasses are supremely affordable, and even have the option of being customizable.
Care & Maintenance
When it comes to washing whisky glasses, it’s important to understand what material its made from. Sets made from glass are perfect to run through the dishwasher.
Crystal, on the other hand, must be hand-washed. The last thing you want is to chip or break an expensive set of crystal glasses. Take care to wash the glasses with warm water and dish soap, and towel dry to avoid any water marks or stains. Never run crystal through the dishwasher, as it’s too delicate to deal with harsh washing cycles.
When displaying glassware, store them upside down so that dust doesn’t collect inside the glass.
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